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EU and Ukraine ratify key treaty

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 16.09.2014 15:21
The Ukrainian (Rada) and European parliaments simultaneously ratified a delayed trade and political deal between Ukraine and European Union on Tuesday.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko shows a document about the ratification of a Ukraine-EU agreement after it was signed by him in the Ukrainian Parliament in Kiev, Ukraine, 16 September 2014. The parliaments of Ukraine and the European Union were set 16 September to ratify a landmark political and free trade deal, but some lawmakers expressed displeasure over a delay in the agreement. The political and trade deal ratified by parliaments in Ukraine and the European Union were the first step towards membership in the bloc, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said.: photo - EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

The EU-Ukraine 'associate agreement' was voted for by all 355 MPs who were present for the vote in the parliament chamber in Kiev, 10 months after the then president Viktor Yanukovich refused to sign up to the deal, unleashing a series of events which led to bloody conflict in eastern Ukraine.

"No nation has ever paid such a high price to become Europeans," new Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko said after the votes in both parliament chambers were passed.

Ukrainian lawmakers applaud after their voting in the Ukrainian Parliament in Kiev, 16 September: photo - . EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

President Poroshenko signed up to the pact, alongside Moldova and Georgia, on 27 June.

“Delighted that EU and Ukraine ratified their Association Agreement, initialled during Polish presidency. Big boost to Eastern Partnership,” Poland's foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski tweeted, referring to Warsaw's staunch support for Ukraine pro-West aspirations.

Members of the European Parliament applauds after the plenary session in Strasbourg, France: photo - EPA/PATRICK SEEGER

The vote was not unanimous in the European Parliament, however, with 535 MEPs voting ‘yes’ to ratification to 127 against and 26 abstaining. (pg)

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